Rust en Vrede Wine Estate

Rust en Vrede, Wine Estate

Photo Caption: Fine dining at its best at @rustenvrede1694

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Wine estates are the heartbeat of the magnificent region of Stellenbosch. One of the award-winning wine estates in the wine capital of South Africa is Rust en Vrede. For more than 300 years, Rust en Vrede has stood peacefully among the vineyards of Stellenbosch and has now become one of the country’s premium red wine producers. Located just outside Stellenbosch towards the False Bay side of the Atlantic Ocean, nestled on the lower slopes of the impressive Helderberg Mountain, less than an hour’s drive from Cape Town. This red wine estate strives to be a driving force in promoting the wines, the region and ultimately the country on a global scale.


The name Rust en Vrede is the Dutch for “Rest and Peace”. The long history of Rust en Vrede started in 1694 when it was established by the then Governor of the Cape, Willem Adrian van der Stel. It was originally made up of a larger property but in the early 1700s, it was divided into two whereby the original section remained as Rust en Vrede. In 1780, the first house on the estate was built in 1780, followed by the cellar in 1785. It was in 1790 when the larger manor house was built.

The Engelbrecht family, whose ancestors have been grape growers since the early 1700s, took residence on Rust en Vrede in 1977. It then marked the start of Rust en Vrede’s flourishing wine-making history. In 1978, Jannie Engelbrecht made the very first R&V wines which were the first wine of Rust en Vrede in the modern era.

Rust en Vrede Wine Estate

Jannie Engelbrecht made the wines and then appointed Kevin Arnold as cellar master of Rust en Vrede. There had only been two appointed winemakers during the first 30 years, namely; Kevin Arnold and Louis Strydom. In 2007 Coenie Snyman was appointed winemaker responsible for Rust en Vrede but as part of a bigger team.

The company and the estate are now headed up by Jean Engelbrecht has worked with passion to maintain Rust en Vrede as one of South Africa’s premium red wine estates, with full-bodied and complex wines that reflect the uniqueness of its Stellenbosch terroir. Jean Engelbrecht also co-founded Engelbrecht Els Vineyards with Ernie Els.

The Terroir

Rust en Vrede covers a remarkable 55 hectares of exquisite landscaping. Situated in the lower slopes of the Helderberg Mountain, between 85m and 130m above sea level, the wine estate has a magnificent view of Table Mountain to the West. The vineyards are mostly situated on North-facing slopes of the Helderberg Mountain. They are managed in an environmentally conscious way. The vineyards are vertically trellised and the canopy managed in such a way as to ensure optimum ripeness of the grapes.

Red Wines

Rust en Vrede specialize in reds, particularly Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Merlot because the estate is located in the warmer part of the Helderberg area. The Rust en Vrede’s full-bodied, new-oak matured wines are a manifestation of the supremacy of the Stellenbosch region when it comes to the making of truly great red wines.

The underground cellar of the estate was designed by renowned architect Mr. Gawie Fagan and it is the first of its kind for a privately owned South African winery. The cellar’s perfectly temperature-controlled environment is of invaluable benefit to the production and bottle maturation of their unique wines. This wine estate produces 20 000 cases of wine annually and 50% of which is exported to more than 30 countries around the world.

Awards and Achievements

President Nelson Mandela selected Rust en Vrede to be served at the 1993 Nobel Peace Prize dinner in Oslo. Rust en Vrede was nominated as the first South African red wine in the Top 100 Wines of the World and repeated this achieved for four consecutive years.

Wine Tasting

Rust en Vrede’s tasting room is open on Mondays to Saturdays at 9:00- 17:00 and 10:00 – 16:00 on Sundays.  An experience of the perfect matching of food, wine, and service awaits you.

Rust en Vrede Restaurant

Rust en Vrede also prides its casual world-class restaurant. Their restaurant has been hailed Eatout Magazine’s Best Restaurant in South Africa, San Pellegrino Top 100 Restaurants in the World; and Great Wine Capitals of the World Best National Restaurant.

Rust en Vrede offers the finest dining experience at a world-class venue. Built in 1782, the building of the restaurant was a significant cornerstone to the estate. The main room of the restaurant served as the winery and tasting room until 1982. It also served as the winery’s barrel maturation cellar until 2006. The tables in the restaurant are situated in one long room with an open kitchen, with seats close enough to each other to encourage the volley of conversation.

The food is based on classical French cuisine with modern influences, using the best quality local produce. They use the freshest ingredients and have personally selected the wines to compliment the menu. The restaurant is open from Tuesday to Saturday from 19:00 to close.

The love for Stellenbosch, the appreciation for food and wine, the respect for their terroir and the unyielding determination to contribute towards a successful South Africa are the qualities that make Rust en Vrede worth your visit!